Ireland’s progress in delinking the economy from environmental pressures has been
uneven in the last decade. Greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation and nutrient
pollution rose with strong economic growth between the mid-2010s and the inception
of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The country’s dispersed settlement pattern implies that
roads are the dominant transport mode. Climate, circular economy and biodiversity
policies have gained renewed impetus, with various ambitious policy initiatives and
large public investment plans. These need to be swiftly implemented to alleviate the
growing pressures from intensification of agricultural practices, demographic development,
urban sprawl and road traffic. Encouraging businesses and households to take action
is key. This requires providing consistent price signals for the use of energy and
natural resources and for better managing travel demand, while taking into account
affordability, employment impact and regional disparities.
This is the third Environmental Performance Review of Ireland. It evaluates progress
towards green growth and sustainable development, with a special chapter focusing
on sustainable mobility and freight.
Published on May 10, 2021Also available in: French